Primer, Foundation, and Blush — for Your Nails

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Photo: Courtesy Photo

Welcome to mid-March, that time of year when we've had our fill of all things wintery — our cold-weather wardrobes, dry complexions, and static-y hair. Not to mention our fingernails, which have been painted concrete, deep Bordeaux, and muddy navy ... perfect for slush, but spring is just around the corner. It's about dang time we move on to a happier palette of polish hues. But not everyone is ready to break out the neons and punchy pinks. To help ease the transition, here's a selection of lacquers that will have you fresh-faced ... we mean, fresh-nailed, for spring.

The Primer: Butter London's Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat ($19) is a subtly tinted tan-neutral to even out the color of your nail bed before a paint job, but can also be used solo. It'll fill in any ridges and cover up nails that might have turned yellow after a particularly penetrating dark hue. Used alone, the polish will leave behind a matte finish. If you're after a sheen, follow with a regular top coat.

The Foundation: Manicurist Jenna Hipp and RGB founder Gina Carney pioneered this concept when they launched their Nail Foundation set in 2011. But we recommend trying Jin Soon's Nostalgia ($18). It's a true neutral that doesn't show up overly pink.

The Blush: But if you do want a hint of sheer pink (without having to commit to a ballerina shade), add a coat of HIPPxRGB's newest set of nudes, Nail Sheers. Available online later this month, this foursome — from petal to deep rose — is meant to give nails a blushlike effect.